HDB lose billions because it pays SLA land at market price?


Is the HDB making losses because it pays for land at market prices to the Singapore Land Authority (SLA)?

I refer to the article “Bank Negara’s land buy sparks talk of 1MDB bailout” (Straits Times, Feb 9).

It states that “Questions are growing around the Malaysian central bank’s recent purchase of government land for RM2 billion (S$678 million), with observers saying it is unusual for the institution to pay market price for state land.

The hefty price tag has also sparked claims that the government is raiding Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) coffers to bail out troubled state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), which last December forked out US$602.7 million (S$802 million) to settle a debt with Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Company (Ipic).

BNM’s response this week that the buy was an “arm’s length transaction” only fuelled further disquiet over whether the financial regulator should be making such deals at commercial prices.”

Since we are on the subject of “land price” – the HDB charges land at market prices.

Are there any countries that price public housing by charging state land at market prices?

So, when the HDB says that it has lost billions because the more flats it builds and sells – the more money it loses – does it mean that funds may be simply channelled to the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) for the land at market prices?

Leong Sze Hian

About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as the president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), Hotel Mumbai (associate producer), invited to speak more than 200 times in about 40 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of 2 countries. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.